With the regular season entering its final stretch, Major League Baseball's rule changes to speed up the game have had time to take root.

And the results are in: The small fixes have worked, if only moderately.

According to the league, average game times have dropped by eight minutes from 2014 to this season -- the biggest one-year decline since 1963. Major League Baseball games now last an average of 2 hours, 54 minutes, according to The New York Times.

That might open the door to even more changes being tested out in the minor leagues. In the majors, the league focused on a between-innings clock to control the amount of time between the last out of one half-inning and the first pitch of the next.

Hitters, meanwhile, are required to keep at least one foot in the batter's box outside of specific circumstances that move them outside of the zone.

In the minors, a pitching clock is currently used to keep pitches occurring at a steady pace. That has dropped game times even more, with some leagues seeing averages around two hours, 40 minutes -- even faster, in some cases.

Game speed has become more pressing of an issue as the sport works to maintain the interest of younger fans -- particularly those with more distractions and shorter attention spans.

And it is a necessary change, said Pat O’Conner, the chief executive for the minor leagues, more formally known as the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.

"Pace is important," said the chief executive of the minor leagues, to the NYT. "We're dealing with a clientele now that their whole life is about pace."

So far, the changes are small enough that many fans might not even notice the new rules dictating pacing changes. But those incremental strides are important to a league that is looking to adapt to the times -- and to the demands of its fans.

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